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The great Lady of Bosenstein

     The people living in the valley of the Achern relate a most terrible tale about the great lady of Bosenstein who was notorious for her cruelty.

     A beggar-woman with seven wretched children is said one day to have come to the great lady of the castle; the latter repulsed her with scorn, accusing her of having done many sinful deeds. Whereupon the beggar-woman is said to have uttered a curse against her, to the effect that the great lady might one day be delivered of the same number of children at the same time.

     And her imprecation was fulfilled. The proud and haughty mistress of the castle gave birth to seven sons in one day.

     But such a blessing of children nearly drove her to despair. She sent out a confidential servant with six of these babies, telling her to drown them in a neighbouring pond. Just as this messenger was on her way to carry out her mistress' wishes, she met the master of the castle who was returning home. Remarking the large bundle she was carrying, he enquired what she had in her bag.

     "A litter of puppies which I am to drown," answered the wicked woman.

     The knight seized with pity for the wretched animals, took the sack, opened it, and learned with horror the terrible deed that the now contrite girl was about to commit.

     Taking the children away from her, he brought them secretly to some poor but honest folk who became their foster parents; the knight however never mentioned a word of what he had done to his heartless wife.

     After a space of seven years, this count of Rosenstein gave a large banquet in his castle to which all the great people in the land were invited. All kinds of amusements were arranged to entertain the noble guests, and every one seemed to be enjoying the gracious hospitality of their host. But the great knight was depressed and sad. While the high guests were all sitting at table, the knight suddenly rose and asked his companions what punishment they considered a woman deserved who had done away with her children?

     The bold mistress of the castle quickly answered.

     "Such an unnatural mother deserves to be given bread and water, and walled in alive."

     She thus pronounced her own sentence. The knight beckoned Silently to a servant who was waiting for his master's signal.

     The doors of the great hall were thrown open, and six beautiful boys ,entered and came forward to greet their father.

    The count then showed the heartless mother her children whom she believed dead.

     The punishment which she herself had suggested, was carried into execution.

     The people still point out a hole in a rocky wall which is called, "The Noble Lady's niche"; the pond is also shown where the children were to have been drowned.

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